In the wake of Freddie Gray’s death, Baltimore is in an uproar. Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man, died on April 19. He suffered a spinal cord injury while in the custody of the Baltimore Police. Many peaceful demonstrations took place to support Freddie Gray. People gathered in the streets holding signs that said black lives matter and justice for Gray.
However, after his funeral things took a turn for the worse and the Baltimore riots broke out. Protestors began setting buildings on fire and stealing from local stores. Rioters threw rocks at the police officers. The riots have led to several injuries of many police officers. The situation became so dangerous that the National Guard had to be called in and the scheduled Orioles baseball game was canceled.
Currently, Baltimore is having its moment of social media prime. Pictures and videos are flooding twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Videos of Baltimore buildings burning and car windows being smashed in are trending. People are expressing their feeling about the Baltimore riots on social media. It is only a matter of time before this event’s popularity subsides and people begin moving on.
The Black Lives Matter Movement has helped to make people more aware of the systematic racism infecting society, but it has done little to provide a solution. For most people their only solution is to be angry. Baltimore is a prime example of African American’s anger. Many people feel like peaceful protests are not changing things, because police brutality and racism are still raging uncontrollably. The citizens of Baltimore have turned to violence to get their point across.
If this anger and violence continues the results could be devastating. Although violence is never the answer it is important to realize that it took something major to make a group of people this angry. Baltimore is a poverty stricken city and for many the opportunities to prosper are slim. According to the 2013 US census 23.8 percent of the Baltimore City population live below the poverty line. A weak education system strips African Americans of equal opportunities. An unjust justice system hurts the city and the people it is supposed to protect. Racism and police brutality have broken Baltimore.
Anger is now the only thing fueling the Baltimore rioters. They riot for every African American mother who has lost her son or daughter to police brutality. They riot for the innocent lives that were taken to soon. They riot against the corrupt political, judicial and educational systems that hinder African American’s success. They riot for change, because they do not know any other way to fix the problems.
I do not think violence will change the sad system of racism that this nation was built on. However peaceful demonstrations have been taking place for years and the same things keep happening over and over again. I understand why African Americans get frustrated and angry about a system designed to watch them fail. They are searching for a solution and fighting a never-ending battle. How much more bloodshed and hatred needs to be exchanged before someone finds a permanent solution to this problem?